As an eagle stirs up her nest, flutters over her young, spreads abroad her wings, takes them, bears them on her wings:…
I. THE WAYS OF GOD CANNOT FAIL TO APPEAR STRANGE AND UNACCOUNTABLE TO THE EYES OF MEN. A grateful recognition of this is the secret of a strong and a contented mind. That my life and destiny are not in my own hands; that the glorious dream of a "Divinity shaping our ends, rough-hew them how we may," is something more than a dream; that there is an intelligence and a wisdom greater than our own, presiding over the eyrie of every human life, — is there anything but dumb despair staring us in the face in the abandonment of a faith such as that?
II. UNINTERRUPTED PROSPERITY AND EASE IS GOOD FOR NO MAN. It engenders a false security. It blinds a man to the slenderness of that thread on which all things human hang. It creates a boldness that is not of God, that leads away from God, and sometimes lower things still follow in its train, How proud, how intolerant, how unsympathetic a protracted run of success can make a man! Is unalloyed prosperity good for a nation? This wonderful history of Israel, the true image and picture of all histories, answers "No." The records of that people almost resolve themselves into this: a succession of prosperities, and a succession of lapses into idolatry and sin. Visitation after visitation is necessary to stir up their idle nest. Is unalloyed prosperity good for a family? Do you invariably find the moral and religious tone high? Are the children thoughtful and unselfish? Is life an earnest thing? Or is not this too often the characteristic of the home: family self-absorption, family selfishness? which may be just as real, and is just as heinous, as class or personal selfishness. No, the mere nest life of changeless comfort, or of unbroken happiness, is good for nobody. So the Almighty has ways of stirring it up lest any of His children — who should be like eagles, cleaving the air and facing the storm, and looking into the very eye of the sun — should be lying snug and comfortable, decrepit and useless, in their nest at home.
1. Remark on the method of the Divine operations. It is characteristic of this king of birds that it rises before its little ones, and bids them follow. At first the parent bird performs small circles, widening and making them larger, however, as they rise; but always keeping ahead and in sight, save when compelled to descend and carry an exhausted fledgling to a place of safety. Is that God's method too? Is it not?
2. In the greatest sorrow into which you may be thrown, God is near and in sight. Take care that no murmuring or rebellious spirit hides Him from your view when you need Him most.
Parallel VersesKJV: As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: